tv Capital News Today CSPAN February 25, 2010 11:00pm-2:00am EST
too. i'm not a spring chicken. but i think this is an important enough issue to stand up and speak about it here tonight. we've heard to the senator from kentucky. i've yielded to him in a way that, you know, may go beyond what is required but i wanted him to express his viewpoint he and has, about why he's done this. and, yes, you i'm a little weary standing thaoer, and i don't plan to stand here all night, but if we were to walk out that door and ignore the impact of that objection, do you think we're meeting our obligation as united states senators? i think it is worth speaking out. you must receive these same communications that i receive from people who are out of work. these are sad, heartbreaking stories, and we're about to make these stories even worse because of the objection of one senator. yes, it is his right to do it, but it is our right to stand up and explain the impact this is going to have on a lot of
innocent people. mr. corker: mr. president? mr. durbin: i yield to the senator from oregon for the purpose of a question. mr. merkley: thank you very much, senator. i have before me a chart on workers losing federal unemployment benefits at the beginning of march. and it notes workers exhausting real estate benefits without additional federal extensions as 380,000 workers. and then there's an additional column that says workers prematurely exhausting their federal pweufrs, again at the start -- benefits, 813,000. i'm rounding off. it has a total column that says for the united states as a whole, 1,193,838 individuals lose their benefits. as i'm reading this chart, my impression is they lose their benefits at the end of february
if we don't have an extension. am i reading this correctly? mr. durbin: i would say to the senator from oregon, i believe it's the end of march. yes. mr. merkley: but there are many people who lose their benefits much sooner if we do not pass this extension. mr. durbin: they will lose them, as i understand it, some will start to lose them as of sunday night. and then as their benefits expire, by the end of the month, you're correct, 1,193,000 people. the senator from kentucky and others have said eventually you're going to get around of going through the process of getting the 30-day extension. it is true we can use that. we could use up another week of time in the united states senate to go through the filibusters and cloture motions and the motions to proceed and the rest of it, but it strikes me as a colossal waste of time and a sad
commentary on the senate that we are forceed to do this to provide unemployment benefits to people in america who are out of work. mr. merkley: my friend from tennessee has made some comments about the process, and i must say i very much respected the dialogue he's been involved in in the banking committee include the year that i served on that committee work to go find a right way to have regulatory reform that will help put our economy back on track. there's so much i agree with him on. but i completely respectfully disagree that it's inappropriate when unemployment benefits are threatened for our workers and our states not to come to this floor and say this matters. this matters for working
families. when i was asking the people of oregon to consider my canned is i to come here -- candace is i to come represent them, i went on 100-town tour at 100 town halls. at every town hall people came and talked to me about the challenge of employment and health care. and tonight both are at stake. i had one woman who stood up, and she said, i got a letter from my doctor who i've had for many, many years. i think she said 20 years. and she said the letter fired me from being a patient because i'm on medicare now, and that the doctor had dismissed all the medicare patients because the calendar could now be filled with folks with private
insurance that paid better. my colleague from alaska was talking about that problem in alaska. it is a huge problem in oregon that our seniors who are on medicare can't get in the door of a doctor in an increasingly -- or at least it's increasingly difficult. and the result of it being increasingly difficult is that a program that they have counted on to provide their health, they're unable to utilize. and tonight we are considering an extension or a fix of the physician' payments related to this very issue whether doctors are going to take and keep taking medicare patients on their agenda. we've talked about unemployment, but it's equally important that we address this medicare rate
because in my state, it is a growing challenge. and we have a generational contract with our citizens over medicare that they're going to be able to get in the door of a doctor's office. and if we don't address this patient issue, then we're not honoring that generational commitment under the medicare program. so i do respectfully disagree with my colleague from tennessee. i wish we had more debates like this. i wish we had more debates like this with votes. i wish we had a vote tonight with a debate and that my good colleague from kentucky had agreed to have a debate that had made his case and persuaded us on this floor of his point, or that others would have made a different point and would have been persuaded.
but we didn't have that debate because the offer was made and the offer was rejected. so here i am tonight looking at the thousands and thousands of americans who are going to lose their health care because they won't be able to get in a doctor's door, who are going to lose their cobra benefits and, therefore, won't be able to afford their extension of health care now that they're unemployed, who are going to lose their unemployment insurance benefits. or looking at the businesses that are trying to get small business loans, that won't be able to get them if we are not extending the small business loan guarantee prafplt i think this is about one of the most important debates for working americans. and we need to get this one-month extension. we need to respect that everyone in this chamber, every one of our 100 senators can proceed to carry this debate on over this
coming 30 days. and we're going to have another chance to vote on this. but tonight we should not take our differences over the process or our differences over what happened during the bush administration and take it out on the most vulnerable members of our society. and so i ask my colleague from illinois: do you share my concern that we're taking procedural differences and age-old debates, and we're taking it out on the most vulnerable? and is it the wrong thing to do, as i believe? mr. durbin: i say to the senator from oregon, that's exactly why i'm standing here. i didn't plan on doing this. it's been a pretty full day down at the blair house and other places. i really believed by the end of the day that the senator from kentucky would have agreed to a vote and he would have had his chance on the floor, which is all we can ask for in this
senate, to argue his point of view, and that we would be able to go home for the weekend knowing that unemployed people across the united states would not have their benefits cut off. cutting off unemployment checks in the midst of this recession. i hadn't planned on being here tonight, but i thought to myself, i say to the senator from tennessee, how can i walk out that door and go home and go to bed and say, well, just another day, another objection. those 12 million people that sent me here expect me to stand up for them once in a while, and that's what i'm trying to do. and i just can't believe that we have reached the point in the senate where these battles over cosmic issues are being visited on people who are struggling to survive day to day to put food on the table. and that's what it's come down to. that is exactly what it's come down to. and i think that's unfortunate. i think we're better than that. i think we should better than
that as a nation and as a senate. the senator from vermont seek to ask a question? i yield for the purpose of a question. mr. sanders: senator, my good friend, the senator from tennessee -- and he is a good friend -- as is the senator from kentucky. i like the senator from kentucky. i know he's honest, he's sincere. he's not hiding. he's here. and i respect that. we disagree very strongly on this issue. the senator from tennessee a moment ago said this is not the way -- characterizing his point of view. this is not the way the senate functions. it's not what the senate is about, in so many words. you go out and you ask millions of people, and you say, if senator bunning's amendment came to the floor of the senate, no one can predict what the vote would be, but my guess is he would probably lose. that's my guess. but he has decided -- one person -- to say to hundreds and hundreds of thousands of workers, i, one united states
senator, i'm exercising my right -- no question about that. and i'm going to object. i, one person who do not have the votes to pass my amendment, am saying to people -- and you've heard the senator from illinois describing these stories, of the pain, turmoil that families are going through. no one disputes what he's saying. it's going on in tennessee, vermont, kentucky, oregon, missouri. i don't think there's a disagreement. people are hurting. they're hurting terribly. let me tell you what, i don't think there's disagreement on this, when monday morning peopl wake up and they find that they're not getting the safety net that life-supporting check, do you know what people are going to be stphaoelg do you know what panic. they don't know how the bureaucracy works. they're going to wake up and say i'm not getting my check. they are going to get a check but it's delayed. there was an article in the paper the other day, one of the
ramifications of this recession -- and we know it is true -- is what it is doing to the emotional health of the people. think about people who want to work, who have worked their whole lives, can't find a job. you know what it's doing to them, to their emotional well-being? do you think they like getting unemployment checks? the vast majority don't want it. 1,000 times more they would like a job. and now suddenly -- they don't understand what's going on. i don't understand what's going on half the time here in the senate. suddenly because one senator says i'm sorry, i object. i object. and thousands and thousands of people are wondering whether they're going to survive. they're going to get their checks. we'll eventually pass this. this is a good debate. we have a $14 trillion national debt. how did we get here? how do we resolve that debt? who thinks in this room that a $14 trillion debt is sustainable? nobody does.
we've got to deal with that issue. who caused it? we have disagreements. let's argue out those disagreements but not on the backs of people today who are hurting and hurting terribly. one of the points that i would like to ask the senator about is we're not just looking at record-breaking unemployment in our lifetimes. this unemployment rate takes place after years and years and years of decline. it was an interesting piece -- i don't have the date. it was a couple of months ago -- in "usa today." and really astounding facts. what they said -- this is from "usa today," i think going through the census data. between 2000 and 2008, men between 25 and 34 saw 11.7% drop in their median income. people then from 45 to 54, 11.2%
drop. in other words, all over this country we see people who are furious, they're angry, they're confused. you know why? they went through a decade where they worked hard, and at the end of that decade they were poorer than when they began that decade. and then came the wall street collapse, and then came massive unemployment, and what we are trying to do -- no one thinks that the extension of unemployment is the solution. we've got to rebuild the economy. we've got to create jobs. but i would hope that nobody in this room thinks that it is acceptable or moral that we allow desperate people to go over the cliff. not to have money to buy food. hunger in the united states of america today is a serious problem. it's not a joke. this is america. and desperate people for their kids, for their parents, need
that unemployment check. we are going to pass this. i gather we'll pass it next week. but all we're doing is disrupting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people for no good reason. senator bunning has raised important issues. i agree with them, but those issues are important. let's debate them. let's debate them. but you don't have to do it on the backs of a middle class and working class that have been decimated for years, are now in worse shape than they have been and now are suddenly pulling out the rug. i would suggest -- i would ask my friend from illinois, my assumption is that we are at some point soon going to pass these unemployment extensions. and my understanding is they're -- i don't know how it is going to be, but i suspect many republicans will vote are virtually everybody on this side. is that a correct assumption and are wily just bringing more pain and confusion to hundreds of thousands of people who suddenly
sunday, monday are going to find out they don't get a check? mr. durbin: i would say, the last time we went through this exercise about unemployment benefits, he may recall that there was a republican senator who wanted -- insisted on an amendment on the bill relating to acorn, and if he couldn't get another chance to take a swing at this organization acorn, he was going to hold up the unemployment benefits bill. i want to tell you, i reached the limit of my patience at that moment. i thought to myself, it wasn't the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth time we voted on acorn. it was going to be the sixths or seventh time. an there was a belief on his part that he had just to keep taking a swing at this organization, even at the expense of delaying unemployment benefits. and i would tell you that i think that's unfortunate. if you want to fight a battle, for goodness sakes, make it a fair fight. don't fight the battle over the bodies of people who are unemployed and struggling to get
by on a day-to-day basis. if you want to fight the battle of the deficit, fight the the be of the deficit or the budget resolution or whatever appropriations bill you choose. but to deny unemployment benefits to make your point about the nation's debt, i think takes this to an extreme. and that's why i'm here. that's why i didn't go home tonight. i had elike to be there and see what's happening with the olympics and what every other american family is doing. but i thought to myself, i can't walk out that door without speaking up for what i consider to be an unjust decision by one of my colleagues. he sees it differently. and i do like senator bunning. i mean, he may -- he and i may have had our differences, but we have had some good conversations about baseball. that's for sure. maybe that's all. but about baseball. mr. sanders: i would say, senator bunning and i have had our strong agreements. i would ask the senator from illinois, in the hearing of the senator from kentucky, is -- look, the senator from kentucky has raised important issues.
i would hope that he would allow us -- not for our sake but for the sake of tens and tens of thousands of people -- to get those checks out. let's come back and continue that debate. you've raised the right issues. we're going -- these unemployment checks are eventually going to go out, unless i'm mistaken. so all that we're doing is disrupting the process. i mean, we understand where you're coming from. you've raised a fair point. very important issues. but i would, through my friend from illinois, ask my friend from kentucky -- who is a friend; i like jim bunning -- that let's continue this debate. but it doesn't have to be tonight. it doesn't have to be in a way that causes confusion and uncertainty and a lot of pain for a lot of people. so i would -- mr. durbin: i'd be happy to yield, but i would also say to the senator from tennessee and the senator from kentucky, there is a version of this unanimous consent request which will give you your vote. if the senator would agree to
that, we'll -- well, all right. i yield to the senator from missouri for purposes of a question. ms. mccaskill: you know, i haven't -- my pal from tennessee -- and in fact the senator from tennessee and the senator from vermont and the senator from rhode island and i all came here in the same class, and the senator from oregon just arrived in january. so we haven't been here for a long time to watch how the senate works. and how the senate traditionally has worked. and i know it appeared to my pal from tennessee that this looked like some organized ambush. -- ambush of the senator from kentucky. and i got to till the truth, we're not that well manufacture organized. if we were that well off organized, we probably would have been doing more of this a long time ago. i -- i honestly came down to the
floor, understanding a deal had been made to give senator bunning a vote. -- a vote on this amendment. i expected that vote to occur. i hadn't talked to my office. i was surprised when i got to the floor and realized that senator bunning, which you can do nders the rules, was going to hold this. and i walked up, as i was finishing voting on the third bill and i said to dick, are you going to stick around and make him object again? you know, i think i'm going to stick around for a while. i just don't feel like going home. and at that moment, i thought to myself, i don't really feel right about going home either. i kind of think it's time, if we're going to do an objection every five minutes and if we're going to have holds -- now, this was a hold on a nominee, it would wait until monday. but when senator bunning decided to do this, it came at a risk, and the risk it came with was that there were going to be
senators that were going to speak out about it. there were going to be senators that were going to disagree with him and they were going to publicly say that this is not the moment -- this $10 billion wall of the deficit spending that's gone on for the last decade, this is not the moment to have one senator say, i can stop it. and so i felt like i wanted to talk about it. but nobody organized this. nobody said, you know, jeff merkley, stay -- or, are you stay? just some of us decided that we wanted to stay and talk about it. and here's what i think: i mean, have there been this many objections and holds tra durablely in the senate, the senator from illinois? have really have we had this many -- have there been in many obstructions to the regular order of the senate traditionally? mr. durbin: i've been here 14 years, 1 14 years in the senate, 14 years in the house.
this senate has changed so much since i have a been here. we'd have members offering amendments back and forth, i mean, good debates. and i thought it really was a joy to be part of a deliberative body that really engaged in that. but now we are in this -- this era of cloture and filibuster and holds and objections, and it just grinds to a halt. and you think to yourself, no wonder there's frustration among the membership heards and no wonder home people on the outside look at us and say, why aren't they doing things? how can we describe to people in missouri, illinois, kentucky, or tennessee, we are here because we're going to cut off unemployment benefits? the senator is right -- the senator from vermont is right. the day will come when those unemployment benefits will go through. it may take us a week. we may have to eat up a whole week of the senate ambassador to get -- of the senate calendar to get that done.
you think-to-yourself, senator, is there something that you should be doing that's more important? we should be working 0 on a jobs program, we should be working on health care. you work on financial regulations -- senator corker, i respect you so much. it shows extraordinary courage to step up and try to tackle this tough, tough issue i'm glad you're doing it. it harass kens back to -- it hearkens back to a better era. so i would say to the senator from missouri, we have been here for a while. nona there are staff people history who did not plan to be here this late. and in deference to them, i am -- i am he going to allow the senator from missouri to ask a question. i am going to then make a unanimous consent request again and then at that point i won't make it after that point. i'd ask the senator from missouri -- ms. mccaskill: well, what i gyms a trying to ask you senator
is that i don't think most americans think the senate is working very well right now. i think most americans think that we're behaving sometimes like children. i think most americans aren't really sure what the rules have and what's the difference between a cloture and a filibuster and a motion to propose and -- and a motion to proceed and a motion to commit. or all the other terms that we throw around here. but there's one thing that i think that we all need to comes to grips with. that is, if w we're going to try to stop the place, we need to be proud to own it. i think that goes on both sides of the aisle. if a senator on our side wants to hold a nomination, i don't think they should be allowed to keep it secret for 10 seconds. if somebody wants to try to hold a bill or wants to object to something, i think this nonsense that they've had in the senate
for every that it's a secret for a while is the stupidest thing that i can possibly imagine. if you're big plouffe to get elected to the united states senate, you ought to be big enough to own dwhiew with your rights when you -- to own what you do with your rights when you get here. and senator bunning has stood up strong tonight and he's explained his position, and a few of us stuck around and talked about our position. i think that's about the healthiest thing we could do. i think it's a heck of a lot healthier than running around closed doors placing holds that nobody knows are there or why. i make a pledge tonight that if i'm ever going to hold anything, the minute i decide to do it, i am going to say what it is and why it is and i'm going to own it. and i think it's time that all of us do that. and if somebody is not willing to own it, then i hope somebody comes to the floor and does to them what we're doing tonight. because i think the sorning we own what we're doing with our rights in the senate, the sooner
we wear them like a proud coat of bright-colored feathers, the better off we're going to be in terms of getting things done around here. this isn't about failing -- making the other side fail. that's not what this is supposed to be about. this is supposed to be about us working together, like you're trying to do. my friend from -- the senator from tennessee. you are doing the right thing. you are trying to find common ground and work hard. and there are a bunch of us that want to do that. i hope that whatever is motivating you to work as hard as you're working in a bipartisan way, i hope it's contagious because if you could spread it around a little, i think the american people would be so proud that we would quit this nonsense of political holds and political gotcha amendments -- and by the way, i'm the first to admit, this has gone on on both sides. this is an equal opportunity senate. but it's time that we try to
make this place work better. and i got to tell you, honestly, my dear friend, i think tonight helps. i don't think it hurts. i think it is a good thing. and i'm proud to have participated in this tonight. i think the senate would be more -- a healthier place if we did it more often. and i thank the senator from illinois for yielding for this time. and i thank him for sticking around as long as he has so that at least we now know what mass happened and why. mr. durbin: if that is a question, i agree with what you said. the senator from rhode island, i yield for the purposes of a question. mr. whitehouse: thank you. i was presiding during the time that my friend, senator corker, was speaking. and so i did not have the chance to respond. but i want to assure him through the chair and through this question that as the distinguished senator from missouri has just said, this was not planned on our side, at
least not by me. i came for the votes. and the only surprise tonight was my surprise that a senator was going to stop our unemployment insurance program. it never crossed my mind until it just happened tonight that that was within the realm of possibility. i have 75,000 people unemployed in my small state of rhode island. we are at 13% unemployment. so when i discovered as a surprise tonight at these votes that this was going to happen, like senator durbin, i couldn't just walk away from this chamber. no way. no way.
but it wasn't as part of a planned surprise. the person in my life who was surprised at what happened tonight was me. and frankly, i'm still surprised. and i'm surprised that this hasn't resolved itself during the course of this discussion. and i'm surprised that the 75,000 people in rhode island and the over 1 million people in this country who are going to make up to the worry and concern and extra anxiety that senator sanders spoke about are going to have to face that. and i think it is unfortunate. but it's not because of a surprise attack by me. it's because i'm responding to a surprise and to something that i think is very unfortunate and extraordinarily painful for tens of thousands of regular working people who did nothing wrong but can't find work in this economy in my home state. i thank the chair. mr. durbin: i thank the
senator. i am happy to yield to a question from the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: i thank the store from illinois. i have to say to my friend from missouri, that i agree, this discussion has been very good. and i received an e-mail from my staff regarding what was happening. i got in my car and i drove down here. i have to say that as i look across the other side of the aisle and on this side, i have a lot of friends. a lot of good will. i want to say to the senator from illinois, i don't think i've ever in my short-term here -- 3 years and 2 months -- i don't think i've ever offered a messaging amendment, i don't think i've ever offered anything that was meant to obstruct unnecessarily. as a matter of fact, i offer very few amendments. i try to do my work with other senators and bring things to the floor that -- that are not -- that are baked, that hopefully are ready to pass.
what i would say to you is that, look, at the end of the day, the senator from vermont is the best i know in this body at talking about compassion for people that i know he believes, and i think we all believe. and i always listen to him with great awe, candidly, at his great ability to express what all of us feel about people who are unemployed or have large heating bills or whatever may exist. but i don't really think that's what this debate is about. it isn't. this debate is about the fact that we're spending money that we don't have and yet we've passed a $787 billion stimulus bill that won't be spent until way beyond 2012. i just cosponsored an amendment or a piece of legislation with the senator from colorado, senator bennett, to use some of
that unspent money past 2012 to pay down the deficit. he's in a tough race. he wanted me to cosponsor something that was sensible and i did. and so what i would say, mr. president, to the senator from illinois is that this is really not about the fact that all of us want to see people who are unemployed have these benefits. we don't want to see physicians take a 21% cut. it's about paying for it. and i would offer -- i wonder if the senator from illinois would agree to me offering a unanimous consent that we pass this measure that's before us and we do it tonight and we pay for it with unspent funds from the stimulus bill that won't be utilized or not planned to be utilized until beyond 2012. that's what this debate is about. all of us want to see people get unemployment benefits.
we want that. we want to see them have all the things that are in this bill. it's not about that. you know that if this bill were offset, it would have been voice voted out of here. so i would ask unanimous consent that we pass this measure out, that we offset it without unspent stimulus moneys that are going to be utilized past the year 2012 and then we work together, just like we are tonight, to figure out a way to make up that difference. i know this is something that's very important to the administration. and we do -- the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. is there objection? mr. durbin: i ask for regular order. i yielded for a purpose of a question. mr. corker: so do you object? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. the senator from illinois yielded for a question. mr. durbin: i yielded for the purpose of a question.
i would say to the senator from tennessee, here's the difficulty we face. of the stimulus funds currently un -- currently sitting there, they've been obligated, but they will be spent. there won't be a surplus, we're told, of any funds. this would have come out during the course of the debate over senator -- if senator bunning had accepted our offer of the amendment. and so to agree to this now is to basically to agree to what he's been asking for, just say you're going to pay for it with stimulus. i don't think it should be and i don't think it can be. it should be the subject of a good floor debate, and that's what the senate's for. and so i understand you can't make a unanimous consent request when i've yielded only for a question but that would be my response to you and i would object based on that. mr. corker: is that snriew i'd like a ruling from -- the presiding officer: the senator from illinois is corre correct. mr. corker: well, i thank you for yielding for a question and i thank you for this discussion. i understand that that's out of order and i actually thank each of you for your heartfelt
comments. but i think all of us know that we all want to see these benefits extended. and i thank the -- i thank the senator from illinois for his judgely nature he's dealt with me. mr. durbin: i thank the senator from tennessee who i respect greatly and i thank the senator from kentucky who i like very much. i would just like to ask this unanimous consent request this last time this evening. i will not be making another unanimous consent request until tomorrow morning. there will be an opportunity i believe with the senate coming in session pursuant to the adjournment script at about 9:30 in the morning and i'll be -- i'll make one request, the same unanimous consent request again in the morning, and that is the only time i'll make it. but at this point, that is my plan and i thank the members of the staff, all of them, who were not notified that this was going to happen this evening and had to make changes in tir own personal and family -- their own
perm and family plans as a result of it. but as we said here in the course of this debate, there will be thousands and thousands of people across america impacted by this decision in just a few days and that's why many of us thought it was worth the wait and worth the effort. and i still believe it was. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.r. 4691, a 30-day extension of provisions which expire on sunday, february 28, unemployment insurance, cobra, flood insurance, satellite home viewer act, highway funding, s.b.a. business loans, and small business provisions of the american recovery act, s.g.r. and poverty guidelines received from the house and at the desk, that the bill be read three times, passed and the motion to reconsider be made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. bunning: i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. durbin: it's my understand understanding that we are now going to move to the closing script for this session.
and i thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, particularly on the democratic side, for sticking with me through this course of this evening. none of us had planned for this and it came as a surprise that this issue came before us, and i think there was some heartfelt sentiments state hered here andi thank them very much for staying with me. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that following my remarks, the senate adjourn until 9:30 a.m. friday, february 26. i'm sorry, i would like to ask, by way of a question, does the senator from kentucky seek recognition? mr. bunning: yes, i would. mr. durbin: would you like to speak after my request so i would make the adjournment subject to your speaking? would that be acceptable? mr. bunning: that's acceptable. mr. durbin: let me start over and say i ask unanimous consent that following my remarks and the remarks of the senator from kentucky and the remarks from the senator from tennessee for
i ask unanimous consent that following my remarks, the remarks of senator from tennessee, senator corker, who will make a unanimous consent request -- it's my understanding -- and then engage in debate only beyond that? mr. corker: very shortly. mr. durbin: -- and the remarks of the senator from kentucky. following those remarks, the senate adjourn until 9:30 a.m. friday, february 26. that following the prayer and pledge, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the morning hour be deemed expired, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day, and the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. and that -- i'm sorry i didn't make it clear, that the senator from kentucky would speak in debate only. this evening. mr. bunning: i just have a few things i'd like to comment abo about. mr. durbin: in debate only?
mr. bunning: yes, sir. mr. durbin: that the senator from kentucky be recognized in debate only as well. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, there will be no roll call votes during friday's session of the senate. the next roll call vote will occur tuesday morning. i've given notice to senator bunning and others that i will be making -- renewing this unanimous consent request tomorrow morning. if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under this order after the statements that have already been noted as part of this unanimous consent request. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. corker: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: i want to thank the senator from illinois for his nature this evening. i want to thank all of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. i think we've had a nice discussion. and i think we all know that this is not about any of our lack of desire to make sure that these benefits are extended, and i think everybody here knows this. it's been nice listening to some of the comments.
so, therefore, since it was out of order before, i would like to ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.r. 4891, that the amendment at the desk which offers a full offset, be agreed to, that the bill as amend be read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table. and this issue will be dealt with and every american that is looking for the benefits that we've discussed will have those forthcoming. mr. president, i ask that that be approved. mr. durbin: mr. president, if i could -- the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. durbin: reserving the right to object. i believe the senator from tennessee said 4891. i think the bill is 4691. and if he wouldn't mind repeating it. if the senator wouldn't mind repeating his unanimous consent request. i'm sorry, i looked down here and didn't quite hear the end of it. if i could ask you to please repeat it.
mr. corker: i hope i'm reading the right one. i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to immediate consideration of 4691, which i understand to be the measure that is before us, that the amendment at the desk, which i understand offers a full offset to pay for this, be agreed to, the bill as amended be read for a third time and passed, and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. durbin: i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. bunning: mr. chairman? the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. bunning: it's been a long night. it's called an ambush. that's what happened this evening.
the consent that i was assured of was going to be that the senator from illinois offer the same -- i'm going to get it right. -- 30-day extension without an offset. he was going to offer it and i was going to have a chance to object. and we weren't going to stand around for 3 1/2 hours debating the issue. that's the understanding i had with the leader of the democra democrats. now, i don't know what i have for tomorrow. i've been assured that the senator from illinois will offer the same amendment tomorrow morning and i'll have a chance to object if i so choose.
but i want to assure the people that have -- that have watched this thing until 11. 45 -- and i have missed the kentucky-south carolina game that started at 9:00, and it's the only redeeming chance we had to beat south carolina since they're the only team that has beat kentucky this year. all of these things that we have talked about and all of the provisions that have been discussed -- the unemployment benefits, all these things -- if we would have taken the longer version of the -- of the job bill -- the job bill that was mutually agreed on, bipartisan bill that senator baucus and
senator grassley agreed on, that the senator from nevada, the leader, withdrew his support from and brought his own narrowly scaped bill to the floor -- narrowly scoped bill -- $10 billion was not paid for, $5 billion was. so we have $10 billion immediately after we passed paygo. so we have a $10 billion bill that we talked about early on that passed. just passed. and now we have an extension. and, by the way, the bill that the baucus-grassley bill was totally and completely -- it's
debatable according to the senator from illinois. but it was paid for. c.b.o. said it was paid for. at least that's what joint tax said too. because i happen to be on the same committee with those two gentlemen. we wouldn't have spent three hours-plus telling everybody in the united states of america that senator bunning doesn't give a damn about the people that are on unemployment, the doctors that i represent, that i didn't want to extend s.g.r., that all of the other things --
cobra, flood insurance, small business loans and small business provisions. i feel sorry for the people in kentucky that live in east kentucky that may lose their satellite home viewer act for a day or two because they'll miss all those commercials that are going on, and tphoeu how they desperately want to watch those. but if they don't have cable, they won't be able to do it. this debate could have been completely changed had not the other side rammed through a bill, a partisan bill over a
bipartisan bill. you can't preach bipartisanism and practice partisanship. i don't give a darn how good you are at conning people, people see through it. if you think i'm kidding, go into your state and ask. the american people understand what's going on up here. that's why the congress and the senate have a 30% approval rating. even the president of the united states is higher than that. and his isn't good because it's below 50%. but i served in this body over
at the house. i haven't had at long -- i had two years short of your house service senate illinois and two years short of your senate service. so i spent 12 and 12 in this body, 12 here and 12 in the house. and we're not conning the people in the united states about anything. they know what's going on. that's why they're madder than heck. they're tired of senators that talk out of both sides of their mouth. they're tired of people that have been appointed to positions that come before the congress's
committees and don't speak the truth. if you think the tea party people are crazy, get them involved in your senate race. or get them against you when you're running. remember now, this all could have been changed had not the leader of the senate decided that a bipartisan compromise jobs bill was not as important as his partisan jobs bill that's just passed right before all of this debate. i just want to tell the people
that have watched -- and i doubt if there are many right now -- that i'm as interested in all those things that i've objected to because of no offsets. as the people that have spoken on the other side of the aisle or my good friend from tennessee or my good friend from alabama, this body should be and can be better than it has been. in my 24 years of service, i have never seen the congress of the united states perform as badly as we are performing presently. and it shows up.
that is followed by federal reserve chairman ben bernanke's testimony before the senate banking committee. >> i come from latin america. i am never expecting to find this kind of poverty. >> photographer and documentary filmmaker on a different side of the nation's capital in the shadow of power, sunday on c-span's q. and a. >> homeland security secretary
janet napolitano testified before a house in a about her agency's budget request for the next fiscal year. she answered questions about the consolidation of some of the department's programs and denied reports that the board of security staff has been cut. this is three hours. >> the committee on homeland security will come to order. the committee's meeting today to receive testimony from secretary janet napolitano on the presidents fy2011 budget request for the department of homeland security. i want to thanks secretary napolitano for being flexible about testifying in support of the president's fiscal year 2011 budget request for the department of homeland security after back-to-back blizzards forced us to postpone this hearing. on february 1 president obama requested just over $56 billion
for the department of homeland security as part of his fiscal year 2011 budget request. overall, under the president's proposal the department's budget is slated to increase by about 3% over last year's funding level, given the current fiscal environment. the president is to be commended for showing an ongoing commitment to the enhancing our nation's preparedness, response and recovery capabilities. departments mission, both homeland security and non-homeland security requires budget request that is far-reaching and impacts the security of americans who travel i care, rail and sea, the capacity of communities to be prepared for and respond to terrorism and other-- including the threat posed by dangerous criminal aliens and the ability of our nation of critical
infrastructure to find innovative approaches to foster resiliency in the face of an ever evolving terrorist threats. in reviewing his budget requests, i am pleased to see that you tackle the issue of over reliance on contractors and presenting a balanced workforce strategy. since its inception in 2003, contractor dependence have stood in the way of dhs becoming a federal agency that congress envisioned in the american people deserve. madam secretary you are to be commended for taking on this challenge that for so many years went unaddressed by your predecessors had for setting a goal of converting 3300 contractor positions to dhs positions by the end of this year. this is a step in the right direction. however, given that the department relies on more than 200,000 contractors to operate a great deal of more work will
need to be done to ensure that dhs moves away from an over reliance on contractors. while i support the substance of most of this budget request, i do have some concerns. while i understand reducing personnel at the u.s. border patrol and the u.s. coast coast guard would bring short-term savings to the department, i am concerned that years of knowledge and expertise will be lost, that there may be a resulting reduction in dhs's possibly sourcing capability to fulfill all of its missions. i am also greatly concerned the budget seeks to consolidate a number of important freestanding grant programs into the state state homeland security grant program. i worry that this consolidation will make it more difficult for local communities to receive much-needed funding. it also troubles me that the
second year in a row that budget decreases funding for vital first responder grant programs just a state and local communities are struggling to maintain the capability gains that have been achieved in recent years. i am particularly disappointed that centers of excellence and other university programs, including the minority serving institutions program that dhs has supported since dhs was established, would be cut by nearly 20% under this budget. one last area that i strongly believe was not well served by this budget is maritime cargo screening. i find it incredulous that this budget decreases funding for international cargo screening programs by almost 48%. it is hard to believe that these programs which god short shifted by previous administrations are being further down scaled when
there has not been a single legislative proposal submitted to alter the statutory mandate on international cargo screening. as you know, under the implementing recommendations of the 9/11 commission act, dhs is responsible for ensuring that 100% of the cargo that enters into the united states is scanned. i just do not see how moving the few dhs personnel that you have in the field, back to the-- gets you any closer to meeting the mandate. that said, i look forward to working with you madam secretary to ensure that the department has the resources it needs to execute all of its missions, including to prevent and respond to the threat of terrorism. thank you and i look forward to your testimony. the chair now recognizes the ranking member of the full committee, the gentleman from
new york, mr. king for an opening statement. >> thank you very much. secretary we welcome you here this morning and we hope your ankle or leg is doing better and it was not because of any republican was this? the injury? no? okay. also on a serious note let me thank you for offering to meet with republican members of the committee on a regular basis. i think you go a long way towards resolving issues they have become and also let us get a better conclusion so i thank you for it and it has been very helpful to both sides. also i think we will go a long way to continuing the bipartisan cooperation we have tried to have on this committee since the inception under both parties. madam secretary much has happened since you last testified before the committee last may. we had the venus case, which actually involves someone from
long involve someone from long island who was indictment and conviction were announced. he was captured in afghanistan, pakistan. we had the headley case involving mom by. we have decided the case in new york. we have had the major major hasan case at fort hood. we had the christmas day bombing and the whole issue involving the trial of khalid sheikh mohammed and where it is going to be held in the dirt an therapy conditions where it will be held. mac mac ..
chairman thompson released about the coast guard maritime safety and security teams. i believe five of the calls are being commissioned, and again, just speaking for the new york area i realize how valuable these teams are, how a valuable they are actually. we have to have them and how well coordinated they are with fbi and local law enforcement, and again, whatever short-term savings there might be to be eliminating five of the 12th negative kiss counterproductive and is going to increase the danger level. also with the whole issue of the trials of new york city we have the for federal protective service and here testifying saying they do not have the funding for the personal to adequately safeguard the federal courts in new york and there's no increase in the budget of the federal protective service it
will that has gone to the $13 million, 200 million of that is allocated for security in the event the trials are held here in the united states. so in effect there was no increase in the funding even though i believe the threats have increased and as far as the 200 million or whatever the final and it ends up being, i do know that the purpose of homeland security and other law enforcement agencies did do an analysis as to what the cost could be at the extent you can discuss that with us and how that approximates the 200 million without sounding overly partisan the vice president said he thought the two injured million a year bloomberg spoke about was an eccentric number and that turns out to be the number in the president's budget or your budget so i would just see if you could explain the vice president, and the issue of guantanamo obviously members of this committee have different concerns and different beliefs as to what we've done with
guantanamo. i believe it should be open and others felt strongly it should be closed but also you are on the board i believe of the panel which decides the fate of guantanamo, the prisoners at guantanamo and i was wondering if any progress has been made on that at all. similarly the issue that caused a lot of debate after the christmas bombing was the issue of the miranda warnings and who should give them and when they should be given, and i would like to hear from you and discuss with you during the question period who should be making the decision since obviously there was much more involved than just the individual being apprehended on the ground and since the intelligence community is so far reaching it appears the attorney general is making the decision that in making that does he discuss that with the director of national intelligence? does he discuss the decision with you, with the cia? does he discuss it with any of the other counterterrorism agencies and departments we have or does he make it on his own without realizing the full
consequences of what could happen? in any event these are issues i would like to discuss with you and hear your thoughts on and i sure as the year goes on and we have regular meetings a lot of these will be discussed and with that i yield back the balance of my time and look for to the testimony. >> other members of the committee are reminded of the committee rules, opening statements may be submitted for the record. again, i welcome our witness today, janet napolitano. she was confirmed by the senate and sworn in on generate 21st, 2000 negative the first secretary of the department of homeland security. in her first years as secretary she conducted a department like the efficiency preview released first quadrennial homeland security review and submit it the first budget request to congress. madam secretary, thank you for your service and for appearing before this committee today. without objection the witness full statement will be inserted in the record.
secretary napolitano, i now recognize you to summarize your statement as close to five minutes as possible. >> thank you, mr. chairman and representative king and members of the committee. it's a pleasure to be before you today to discuss the president's 2011 budget request with the department of homeland security. i want to thank the committee for the strong support it has shown the department during my tenure as secretary. i'm glad to work with you as we work to secure the american homeland in also assure we have the resources we need and they are put to use effectively and efficiently. as noted, president obama's budget for the department focuses our resources where they can be put to best use. the 2011 budget request is $56.3 billion. equates to more than 2% increase over last year's funding, and while we are always focused on
securing and protecting the american people, we are also committed to exercising a strong fiscal discipline making sure that we are investing in what works. one of this budget will not go into affect on till not to be cut next october the defense of the past months underscore the importance of the investments to our mission and ongoing activities. the attempted attack on flight to 53 on christmas was an illustration terrorists especially al qaeda and affiliate's will go to great lengths to try to defeat the security measures that have been put in place and september 11, 2001. this administration is determined to thwart those plans to disrupt, dismantle and the seat terrorist networks by employee multiple layers of defense, working in concert with one another to secure the country. this effort involves not just the department of homeland security, but many other federal
agencies with responsible related to the safety of the homeland. and as president obama made clear, the administration is also determined to find and fix the vulnerability in our systems that have allowed not just the christmas they preach to occur because we think forward collectively what could the next attempt the what needs to be done in advance of that we are working hand in hand across the federal government also on a number of other areas. a more recent example would be the response to the catastrophic earthquake in haiti. as the chairman noted this year we submitted our first quadrennial homeland security review. this gives a long distance vision and template for the homeland security enterprise and identifies five major mission areas. the first is preventing terrorism and enhancing security. the second is securing and managing borders.
the fare is smart and effective enforcement of the nation's immigration laws. the fourth and a new one is safeguarding and securing cyberspace and fifth is insuring a resiliency to disasters. let me briefly go through those with a budget highlights related to each one. preventing terrorism and enhancing security the president's budget requests enhances multiple layers of aviation security. a critical investment. we want to axson replacement of the advanced imaging technology machines, the kind of machines that will increase ability to detect the metallic explosives. now we also want to add to the federal air marshal service to train kaylene teams and behavior detection officers in our domestic airports. while we work internationally across the globe on increasing worldwide aviation security. to secure and manage the borders
the budget request strengthen its initiatives that have already resulted in concrete border security success this past year. we want to expand the border enforcement security task force teams, the best teams. they have helped increase seizures of contraband across the border. we want to continue to increase the use of intelligence for battling the drug cartels halston mexico and so the budget contains additional money for intelligence analysts that will be focused on those efforts. now we also have in the budget the money necessary to protect the customs and border protection staffing levels and i want to pause a moment. there has been some confusion to him. we've delivered a clarifying document. drew is no cut to the border patrol staffing contemplated in this budget and i think that needs to be made very clear. in addition we want to continue
our efforts with respect to mexico. it just south of our border the city of juarez is one quite frankly where the rule of law has been lost. the fact that is a bridge away from the united states should give us all pause. we are working very closely with federal government of mexico, just met last week with the president of mexico, the mexican federal police and others to make sure that border y that we make sure that border is secure as possible. additionally, in terms of enforcement and administration of the nation's immigration lotteries, the president's budget request bolsters critical initiatives such as efforts to strengthen e-verify, which is our tool we use to ensure employers verify the legal presence of the workforce. we also want to expand secure communities. this is the program where we put access to immigration database right in local jails and state
prisons as we proceed with in addition removal and deportation while someone is still incarcerated. to safeguard its to cyberspace the budget request includes a total funding level of $379 million for our cybersecurity division in addition to the money for the secret service for their investigation of cyber related crimes. under this, mr. chairman, we have already been granted by the office of personnel management the ability to hire up to 1,000 cyber experts by direct hiring authority over the next three years. this is an effort we need to proceed on with due haste so we have on the civilian side of the cyber command just as we are developing on the military side. to ensure resilience to disasters the president's budget request includes an increase in support of the disaster relief fund and $100 million in
pre-disaster mitigation grants and the support of state, local and tribal government to reduce the risks associated with disasters. and finally, the budget includes increase is attributable to our efforts to mature and strengthen the unity of the department continuing to build out st. elizabeth has a consolidated quarters, continuing to consolidate fleeces so we are not in more than four dozen locations around the district continuing to integrate various legacy data systems and i.t. systems that came into the department when there was created that now need to be unified into one i.t. system are just several of the at the st. functions that are put in headquarters but are designed to provide support and operational efficiency throughout all of the operating components. mr. chairman, i have more detail that's contained in my complete
statement which i ask be concluded in the record but i look forward to addressing the questions you have post and representative king and the other members might have. thank you. >> thank you for your testimony. i would remind each member he or she will have five minutes to question the secretary to get i will now recognize myself for the first question. madam secretary, it goes to the issue of maritime cargo screening. congress thought along with the leadership of this harmon and other folks that our ports and whole issue screening and the vulnerability is associated with not knowing what is coming into the country was a real issue and we passed legislation mandating 100% scanning by 2012.
since that time, sick to recover before you had taken the position that it can't be done this budget reflects 40% decrease in resources to do that explain that to the committee, please. >> the money requested for the containers security initiatives reflect the fact that with increasing technology and increasing implementation of initiatives that were begun under predecessors that we can achieve the screening is necessary of containers and cargo with the templates to the rule which is now in effect with electronic records and what is in a cargo and what is now in effect the 24 hour notice of what is in the cargo which is now in affect all things that didn't exist really at the time that the 100% requirement was
contemplated. so we have been addressing this from a risk-based and technology based approach to get to where we need to be. >> are you going to change the law establishing congress is saying 2012 is the date 100% has to be maintained? >> i think my assessment and i looked at it independently with my predecessor, but my assessment has turned out to be the same as his which is that the 100 per cent requirement is not achievable by 2012 so we will need to work with the committee this year on what we are asking for, how would will secure the ports and what statutory changes may need to be made.
>> so based on what you just said what is your best guess as to 100% cargo scriven will be obtained? >> mr. chairman i would like the opportunity to address with the committee if not today at some other time whether the 100% screening is the way to go now that we know more than we did when the 100% screening requirement was imposed. >> let me say it would benefit the relationship if the request would come before we read it in the paper that you can't do it. high expectations, madam secretary, is that if there is a law with deadlines on it and there are problems, please come talk to us but when we read about it in the newspaper that you're not going to do it, it is a problem, and i say to you if you can't do it, we are here but
the public expects some direction toward satisfying the 100% mandate. the congress expects it. the other issue is last year you talked about the issue of collective bargaining rights for the chia so. can you tell me based on last year you told us your checking with general counsel and general counsel would tell you whether you could do it. do you have authority to act administratively on collective bargaining rights? >> let me take two points, mr. chairman. first of all, i'm sorry if you read about the 100% in the paper. i have testified on that before in the senate and i think i also
submitted some statements in that regard but i think we need to further the dialogue because we need to look at what is the best way to secure the ports, the cargo that comes into the ports and the myriad ways the cargo comes into the ports, and the plain fact of the matter is i think we just know more now than we did win the 100% requirement was developed so i look forward to testifying or bringing information before this committee because we have i know i have at least testified once on this moving forward on the the collective bargaining issue my understanding is we do have the authority to collective bargaining under the current law >> do you plan to exercise this authority? >> we are working with our bhatia so what are not collectively bargaining with them right now.
>> you are aware that we have had a vote in the house on this issue in the past? >> indeed. >> and the house said that it's fine to do it? >> indeed. >> thank you. yield to the ranking member for five minutes. >> madam secretary, on the issue of securing you and i have been through this before, but the house is in a number of times separate votes overwhelmingly indicated support for the program. i believe it is absolutely essential. if we look at madrid and london it's likely the next attack against the urban area will come from outside the ultimate nightmare would be a dirty bomb coming and new york city has set up to secure the city's nuclear detection system basically which forms a guard around the city highways bridges and tunnels leading into the city from the suburbs and it involves seven different law enforcement agencies from a new route to the cause throughout new york, new
jersey, connecticut yet it's been zero doubt in this year's budget and we seem to go through the same argument. as far as i know, going through it all of the money is either stand or obligated or awaiting approval for instance on the 2009 funding even though the budget was adopted long ago it wasn't awarded until new york -- until october of 2009, and still applications are in and so there is no money to be accounted for. it's either spent, obligated or awaiting approval and i think it is a serious mistake being made in the pits the city at risk not just new york city but the way the legislation is drafted the money will be spent in other cities around the country. >> congressman, first of all, i recognize that the new york city and area around that is a target, and we know that and it
receives literally hundreds of millions in various programs because of that. securing the city's however was one small program relative to the denominator. it was designed to be a three-year grant program after which if new york city wished to pursue they could use other grant monies. we do have one of these budgetary issues going on as new york city actually even obligated the money they've already received that's in the pipeline or not our budgeteers say they have it given to understand new york city believes it has some where they're ought to be agreement, but there is that but the more important point i think is that as a pilot program, which it was , it has not yet -- is now time to be really assessed independently as to whether it
is effective for not, comparing it to other types of protective technologies and programs that are available. i think that, it's not really an audit, it is an assessment, will be happening this year. but we need to proceed forward and really make sure if we are going to continue funding secure in the cities of the congress wants to it is a value added to the other millions of dollars we are putting into the greater new york area. >> again, there is and i would say a misunderstanding i don't believe it was ever believed by new york this was going to end after three years as far as the funding because the nature of the program. it's not just new york is new york, new jersey, connecticut over 70 departments and agencies and i will let my friend miss pascrell discuss of leader but was never my understanding or anyone in the city that this was to end after three years.
it wouldn't make sense but in any event i would like to follow this through with you. on the issue of the 9/11 trial in new york were you ever consulted prior to the announcement by the attorney general that it would be held in new york? >> i was not. >> my understanding is you were appointed after the fact you determined the security costs of the trial in manhattan and i had sent a letter to you and the attorney general and the director on tiberi 29th requesting a copy of the classified threat assessment. i've not heard from you and i realize there's many letters on your desk but if you could get that to us because that to me -- i would like to see how the threat assessment is analyzed and what was taken into account even if it was after the fact especially when you are the vice president's statements that he thinks the number of tendered million worth to entered $30 million is an exaggeration
to say to commit the classified report available on the committee would be very helpful. >> yes. i will follow on that. i believe the budget request is for up to to hundred million for terrorism trials per say. there could be i think that contemplates there could be other trials as well during fiscal year 2011. i know that your focus on the k. xm announcement but i believe the actual budget request was broader than that. >> one quick question are you aware of any other cities being considered for guantanamo detainee trial? you said they could go places other day event york. >> it is my understanding that those assessments are being done by the department of justice. >> thank you. >> thank you. the gentleman from texas for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam secretary, good to see you
again. just another procedure issue if it was raised by the chairman, one of the questions we had asked was it the 181 border patrol and i think at one time we said you are going to cut them and then it came back and said we are not going to cut them we got, our staff got an e-mail from you today saying that we are not cutting 181 border patrol was originally proposed. we are taking it elsewhere to cover the costs. the problem is we get this around 12:30 today and read it before that time and what was it in the newspaper today. it's one of the issues we've been asking, madam secretary, that we are the oversight committee, and we would like to get this before the media does because when the media gets this, nothing against them but when they did before we do as
oversight it puts us in a very uncomfortable situation so i would ask you again if you could have your staff trust us and provide us the information before the media because i of the memo from allyson and asked and then the newspaper -- i would dustin a procedural question to do that. the second thing is postcard, the memo about reducing the global terrorism and i'm looking at a right now and i'm not going to go into the details but if there is going to be a change in the mission of the coast guard and you're taking the global terrorists and search and rescue, again, like the chairman said let us know before were given a heads up on some of those matters. we want to work with you. we want to be your friend and supporter on this. we just ask you to work with us.
if you want to address this, and i want to talk about the good work you do with mexico which is what i want to conclude with. >> if i might, the clarification on the cbp budget request, that is an exchange going on with the appropriators and i will let the staff work with your staff on that. if the press picked up something going back and forth with appropriators i think that explains that and that is traditionally have that has been done. i think the coast guard memo to which you refer is an internal draft option paper that goes all the way back to last november and before the president's budget was even finalized, and it is not something that is operative world nor the president more on believe the coast guard should go, so unfortunately it is one of those things and the town paper leaks
out like water through a sieve and that should -- that is an internal pre-decision paper. >> thank you. on the story that came out also today and washington probably picked up a lot of things today, the questions about the contractors out number of federal workers and i saw your response to senator lieberman, my thing is i can understand the usage of some contractors. i don't for a problem against contractors but you have to have some sort of balance. my only thing is to provide performance and oversight performance measures to make sure there were measuring that is i am hoping that is applying to those individuals because if this story, and it's probably wrong, says that contractors employed by homeland out number the number of homeland security i think it's going to raise an issue to a lot of members.
does it out number to the contractor's -- >> it doesn't eckert number, but its two hari of a number and there's reasons for that in the department was put together so quickly given all the missions it had and that were added to move quickly enough the use of contractors was required. what the department has not had is a plan in place to convert those positions and to federal employees, and that is what we are pursuing for the balance work force initiatives. a problem we have in speeding that up, and i would like to speed it up, mr. chairman, is the length of time that it takes to onboard a federal employee under the current statutes, rules and regulations that govern civilian employment and it's something that at this and the homeland security yesterday i said this is a problem
government-wide but certainly for the dhs as the newest department it has slowed down a conversion we would like to do as rapidly as possible. >> my time is up but whenever you are doing working with mexico i know you were over there and i want to congratulate you, keep up the good work because i think we need to do more. we might have to look at my opinion, maybe 2.0 because they are in serious situation what is happening. >> thank you, madame secretary. >> thank you. madam secretary, if you could provide the committee with some outlined to the 200,000 people are. i know you can't categorize them and do whatever you want but based on what he's saying we need to know are these professional people, clerical people or just what they are so you don't have to give the title
position. >> categories? >> i think we already have that but we will get that to you. >> i would like to ask unanimous consent to recognize out of order he has a family emergency he's going to have to attend. without objection mr. ban. >> thank you for for your accommodation. madam secretary, thank you for being here and particularly under your situation with your ankle. i have a few questions for you today but first let me discuss an issue year and dear to the heart of my fellow pennsylvanians and madame secretary i cannot support and in fact i will oppose any attempt by the administration to relocate guantanamo detainees to the commonwealth of pennsylvania whether for detention or prosecution especially given the flight 93 crash in schenck still pennsylvania on 9/11.
recent revisiting the gitmo facilities i see no reason these trials must be held in this country and the united states let alone in the commonwealth of pennsylvania and i will do everything in my power to prevent the trials from being held within the commonwealth. please encourage the justice department to look elsewhere and certainly i know that this input convey that message. i have issues regarding the department's budget request i would like to discuss with you. in 2008 the department promulgated the aircraft security program. the proposed rule making regarding the general aviation security, john from the tsa was working with industry to refine the requirements to insure they were smart and sensible and most importantly enforceable. in light of the austin texas incident can you please tell me where we are on the issuance of either an amended rule making or completely new rule making for the general aviation security?
>> yes, representative, we are obviously taking a fresh look, we had done a proposed rule, we have been working with the general aviation community and we got the comments back. we've been prepared to issue a revised rule. but i have asked that we take another look at the rule in light of what happened just to make sure that we are making the right judgments in terms of what kind of security measures should be in place for what size of aircraft. >> thank you. i have long been a proponent of using advanced imaging technologies or whole body imaging and i know that he's been supportive as well for improving our passenger security screening capabilities and i appreciate the investment this budget proposes in the state of the art technologies. if we had these 500 new machines in place they wouldn't have
stopped him from killing 300 people on christmas day, almost would 300 people. he was screened overseas and while i understand you've been working with the international aviation organization to strengthen these international security standards are you willing to go it alone and require tough security standards for the flights entering the united states if the icao press of helpful? >> the aviation security were cleared the right now is going very well. we've had meetings in spain and with my colleagues from the e.u. three we came back from mexico city where we had a western hemispheric meeting. everybody realized that they all had citizenry on flight 253 or could have and that there is a necessity to raise world aviation standards in terms of information collection and sharing information about passengers and passenger vetting and in terms of airport screening and security itself.
so that is going very well. we will be in tokyo next week to meet with the aviation community in asia. we always have the option, representative, of refusing an airport to have last point of embarkation to the united states. i don't know that that option has ever been employed, but we always retained a to but i think it better, given the fact people need to be able to travel and commerce need to be able to move as well as meeting security demands to see if we can end this global world raise the aviation security. >> thank you for that update. in august of this year, the 9/11 bill passed by congress three years ago will require all foreign in bound passenger aircraft to screen its cargo prior to the aircraft entry into the u.s.. the department and that tsa made it quite clear they will not be able to meet the statutory
requirement. since bald requires you to ensure 100% of all air cargo is screened how are you coming to handle those and doud aircraft coup on august 4th have not screed their cargo? will you prohibit their entry into the united states? >> i would prefer to brief you a little bit individually on that but let me just say that by the end of the year we should meet the 100 per cent requirement on the air about cargo. >> foreign? >> we will by early this year we will be all domestic but my understanding is by the end of the year we will get to 100% on the air about cargo from international. >> i was under the impression we were not agreed to be that foreign standard by august 4th. as i would be to reduce -- >> bought by august 4, but a few months after that. i think we are on track to meet that standard. i will have the double checked. >> thank you. i yield back.
thank you, mr. chairman for the accommodation. >> i now recognize the gentleman from pennsylvania. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary, did you for coming today. it's great to see you. to start i want to talk out of the uhs are. as the chairman of the management investigations subcommittee preconcert we've held a number of hearings and a number of briefings and i was pleased to see the final product, although i think that there is probably some detail that is missing. now i know that you are going to issue fairly soon the bottom-up review, the b.u.r.. first of all, what is the date we are going to have that? >> representative of the b.u.r. process is well under way. sometime between the end of march and the beginning of april or the middle of april you should have the b.u.r.. >> okay. that is pushed a bit from what i was told earlier but make it
closer to the end of march, please. well for the purpose start working on the next qhsr? >> i've kind of unfocused getting the b.u.r. donner. let me get back to you on that. >> okay. when do you begin -- when you think you will start requesting funds for the next qhsr? >> i'm not sure i addressed and the question, representative. you need to do -- >> to do the next one, exactly. >> i apologize. i didn't understand the question. i think it may be something we look at in the 2012 budget. >> okay. and going forward will flood qhsr and b.u.r. b1 document that? >> um think that ideally, yes and for obvious reasons but i think that in our desire and
yours to move, qhsr through, and given that when i began as secretary it really was not moved along. we wanted to move very rapidly and established the vision for the department matched by the b.u.r. which he will have very shortly. by the time we get to the second qhsr we should be through that kind of disconnect. >> thank you. i want to switch gears slightly. as you know yesterday's budget hearing in dustin and homeland security kennedy the ranking member stated the inspector general was on able to submit comments on time to the omb regarding the request. the ranking member also stated that the told her the budget requested would, and i quote, significantly inhibit his
inability to carry out the responsibilities of his office. like other offices the budget was flat land for fy 2,001 or you are requesting $129 million according to the oig reform act it must include comments from the office about the resource needs and those comments were furnished for the 2011 budget. do you know why that happened? can you explain that? >> again, i can explain because the oig budget has been increased the last few years, it was flat land. this year in light of the fiscal discipline that we were all undertaking. as i understand the i.g. that put the comments in the congressional justification but again, the i.g. is an independent women and they don't
go through in that regard. >> i want to read in the mail we receive in the district office and the four were did it to me before we cannot. dear congressman, i am happy to know you support the work of the border patrol and curtailing illegal immigration. for this reason i feel compelled to write you about a matter that my son recently spoke to my husband and i about. my son is a border patrol agent stationed in terms of arizona and has told us that funding for the patrol has been cut and as a result of vehicles and equipment are not being maintained. overtime is being cut and adequate manpower to provide backup and cover the fast torian is not available. as his parents our concern for his safety why on the job is paramount. as an agent who loves his job however the conservative areas are being left unpatrolled and
allow free passage of drugs and eagles into the house can we respond to this person? >> i would say to your mom, your son is highly misinformed. i know that sector like the back of my tent. i worked on that sector since 1993. we've increased every possible resource. manpower, equipment, we felt the border patrol station. it is a key area because the arizona quarter is a lead quarter for the immigration and drug trafficking. i would be happy to give you direct numbers on the sector but i would be happy to write them myself if you would like. >> by 82 wall that offer, thanks. i am fairly familiar with the sector as well and we have
issues with the p28 and fencing and things like that and we can address that in the next round of questions. seabeck thank you. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. smith. >> thank you. madam secretary let's go to the subject of worksite enforcement. in the united states there are 15 million people who are out of work. they and their families are hurting greatly. yet at the same time we have about 7 million people in the country working here illegally. if we were to enforce the current immigration law we on the books we might cut unemployment in half. when i think about the impact that could have on the country if we didn't force the laws and cut the rate in half you have the opportunity to be a national heroine by enforcing the law ahura it let me give you some facts what i perceive as a lack of enforcement.
in the area of administration ministry does the rest are down 68%. criminal arrests down 60%. criminal indictment down 58% and criminal convictions down 63% and all of those categories, address, indictment, convictions they are all down a 58 to 68% all in one year. that is quite a record. my question is why don't we enforce immigration laws in creating more jobs for unemployed americans? >> representative smith, let me just say that i believe that in force of the nation's immigration laws is not only important but particularly when we have an unemployment rate in the country the way we do to make sure that we have effective work site enforcement so let me describe how we have gone about its. >> if you would answer my question first about why these statistics are down so much i
asked the indictments, the convictions are all down. >> indeed, let me answer that directly. first of all, the audits of companies aren't substantially, the record numbers. we can bring more -- please -- sprick let me concede, audits are up and notice of intent to confine. notice of intent. even when they are finding they are considered the cost of doing business. if you want to reduce the number of illegal workers the statistics schappell of the opposite direction. why don't you what the i.c.e. agents of arrest and detain more people and free of those jobs for unemployed americans? >> can i speak now? >> please. i hope you will answer the question. >> let me describe what we're doing. we have substantially increased i-9 of its. more employers are subject to fine. more than ever signed up to a e-verify come edify residency before you even begin in a plan that. we have record numbers of
criminal alien removal from this country, record numbers of criminal alien the arrest in this country, more and any other year prior. estimate what we are talking about portside enforcement. >> worksite and force that is part of that, so i think if you spoke with members of the business community they would say get i.c.e. off our backs because they are all over the place making sure that we comply with the integration laws and we will continue to do that. -- tecum. >> i don't think that those were worksite cases. i'm talking about individuals working illegally in the country and if we were to enforce immigration we could free up those positions for a lot of unemployed americans. let me go to the u.s. visit. as you know we have a budget this year proposed by the at patrician that did not request a single dollar for the u.s. exit side of the program. u.s. visit was implemented, it was a bill interest in 1996 that became law and as you know
better than life 40% of the people in the country illegally are oversteers. if you want to know who they are and want to know whether they left the country or not, you have to have an exit system. the administration does not have any money for that exit, for the biometric exit system. why aren't the interested in reducing the 40% number of the people who are in the country illegally? you can't do but unless you know who they are. >> well, i don't think -- representative, your question please presumes there is no need for the u.s. visit to the fact the matter -- sprick i just asked why there wasn't an increase if you're going to increase the money for the u.s. exit. >> there's $50 million spent on allocated that we are carrying for the u.s. visit. >> let's hope you haven't the program if you're serious about addressing the problem. my last question as a follow-up to the ranking member when he asked what was being considered as locations to try to delete to
the gitmo detainee's. he responded by saying to doj was assessing what his question was what other cities are being considered, not who is assisting it. let's stipulate no decision has been made what city but surely you know what cities are being considered and on behalf of the american people, i would like to ask you what are those cities? >> representative, i am not proceed to that information right now. >> you do not know what cities are being considered at your secretary of the department of homeland security? >> i am not part of those discussions. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from missouri, mr. cleaver for five minutes. >> thank you come madam secretary. let's talk technology. last october the gao submitted a report to us that identified underlying weaknesses in the tsa decision making with respect to
the requirements and technologies. if we are going to assess intelligently your proposal that tsa received $700 million to purchase and deploy these new technologies it would be important at least for me to know whether the tsa plans or has prepared risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis with performance measures to support the decisions to deploy these technologies. does the science and technology directors -- what role does science play in these technologies? >> bright, too ways, first of all, yes, we are using risk
assessment, yes, we are employing performance metrics and as part of our efforts now actually the s&p director in the department has entered into the emco you with two of the national labs to work on screening technology and how we continue to improve the airport and security screening environment. >> let's move to the wbi to revive in the process of writing and of it for my home town newspaper, and i've struggled with this whole issue alive sure all of the members of this committee but the administration harris decided they are free to support this. we are talking about 100 -- 1,000i guess whole body imaging machines -- >> scanners, right. >> -- scanners, equipment.
there's always paranoia by asian travelers, and i think that this, while i may be in the -- end up being one of the strong supporters but is there any kind of way that we can convince the public with factual information that the machines are not storing images and that we won't see them on somebody's facebook? >> yes. >> or internet or on [inaudible] programs senter? [laughter] >> first of the current iteration of the technology doesn't even show a face at all. it is designed to ascertain the anomalies that can be further looked at through a secondary inspection. secondly, the reader is sent
where the person is so there is no association. further, the image is not stored. that is part of the how can i say, it is part of the contract, the technology, everything else that there is no storage of the image itself. it is merely designed to ping to someone upstairs if there is an anomaly of someone downstairs. i've seen the newspaper of the images. they use a very old first generation version of what actually shows up the technology now has really mitigated the privacy concerns, so hopefully we can work with you but also with the committee because i do think it is a very important investment for the country to make to satisfy people that this is not designed to be anything
other than an objectively better way to protect people on aircraft. >> my final question, and i agree with you but people are concerned nonetheless, and we have a religious group that is also concerned about because of their own religious beliefs which i respect, but i wonder if we reduce of the paranoia and skepticism if we have same gender scampers like we do presently when we go through the screening, they're going to be dealt with bye men and women, so i am wondering can we do that with screening or just that generate a cost factor that would cause it to be cost
prohibitive? >> a couple of things. remember the person reading the screen -- >> i understand that but what i'm saying, madam secretary, i mean, to somebody sitting at home who flies three or four times a year and they are scared that they will be seen, we need to do everything we can to create comfort. >> we are working through that particular issue but remember a passenger always has the alternative of going through the standard way, the magnetometer with the possibility of a pat down and they would have to do that any way if they were trying to get on a plane so that option is retained. we've seen in the pilot projects in the airports where the scanners have been deployed is that 98% of the passengers prefer to just go through the scanner, but again airports are
retaining the option, and optional avenue as well. >> if the members of our committee can go through and have a committee hearing and see if we can find out -- see if we can figure out who is who, if we can't figure out and i think it ought to run. it's a good deal. >> the gentleman's time is expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from indiana, mr. southard. >> thank you, mr. chairman and madame secretary, you said securing the border is one of the most important issues in the department, and i have several slides i would like to show. the first slide if we can put that up on the screen. basically, just states the fundamental problem we have. the border patrol says we have 6,000 meaning we have 5,000 that isn't under control.
basically we have less than 15% under control. and this 15 per cent safety standard, and it's something i'm sure the car companies would like, and i am not sure why the car company safety standards would be better than the standards on terrorism. if we can put our second slide up i believe you were provided with copies of those as well. this is extremely troubling. discuss border patrol agents in a minute but no increase for the cbp officers or the pilots, no new hard fencing, no expansion of the virtual sense to denote additional detention that space. it seems like you're going backwards rather than force even though we are less than 15%. now i heard you say and explained earlier the minority has received confirmation that you changed your budget. perhaps we should read "the washington post" more closely but we didn't receive any e-mail that the least of it and if you're reversing yourself on the cuts that you have a freeze but
when you have less than 15% covered it's not clear why we would even be having a freeze. i think the american people would say if we are going to spend money this is one of the places we want the money spent that you can't really control our borders state-by-state, and if we go to the last slide i think it is extremely telling that the figures in this graph, which came -- the line is hard to see they're basically, and i think you have a copy -- basically, after 2008 it stopped. according to the border patrol, once we received the part fence and the electronic fence in 2010 there was nothing, in 2011, nothing to expand, and you have no future plans that show you intend to expand, no vision the stated for how you're going to do it. you're doing best teams and that's good, and i.c.e. teams and a few things in the air, but as far as functional control of the border which leads to contraband and people, and contraband and people can be
terrorists, it can be narcotics and illegal immigration but it's basically contraband people, not just seeing them but the effective control. is your testimony that this budget is sufficient and will increase control of the budget -- the borders and move towards patrol are you saying that having 4300 miles not under control is acceptable? do you think that our border is still vulnerable, and do you believe that terrorists will exploit this week this and smugglers such as what we have seen recently with somalia and now they can across with a budget simoleons and we can't find them? ..
in terms of tactical fence, and spi net. my understanding is from his comments in this committee is you want to make sure i spend money as smartly and efficiently. sbinet in the contract of the concept entered into years ago has been plagued with troubles from day one. it has never met a deadline. it hasn't met its operational capacities and it doesn't give us what we need to have. we will complete the first phase of it but i don't think it would
be responsible of me to come to this committee and say, based on the performance and the difficulties we have had setting up the first phase that we should do it all around the border. the monies in the budget for technology that our border related are things like mobile imaging technology and the like which are more facile and easily maintained, which are more operable by the border patrol agent. we look at reload get spi and we intend to do that but the technology dollars that need to patch up with the boots on the ground may be better spent in another manner. >> madam secretary, in your answer, and i understand the sbi to note is being used in the border patrol and still going to be tested they are happy with the test. you have outlined not a single mile of additional control. you are basically saying we are not cutting back. we are doing consolidation but
not cutting back. your vision was for partial tracking. are you saying that there will be additional miles under functional control somewhere in this administration since we have gone two years without an additional mile being added? what you are saying is we are finishing the bush proposals which were two years old but is there going to be another milestone of this part that that is in town? are you saying you are going to have functional control? border patrol says there will be no additional miles of optional patrol. >> i don't know where that statement came from and i'm not going to debate a statement i have not seen the source but let me tell you this, the southern border is important for us. we keep expanding control. we have for example with the funds in the recovery act and the recovery act been able to add funding and improvements in technology both at the particularly at the northern border. a lot of that number is the northern border and the southern border you appropriated money
for, the technology is going to be there, the manpower. if you look at numbers and want to look at numbers, look at numbers in terms of illegal immigrants, look at numbers of contraband seized. you will see we are. >> reclaiming my time. >> excuse me. >> unemployment rates are not a way to control immigration. speeded up summons time has expired. >> that is not correct. >> the gentlelady from arizona, ms. kirkpatrick for five minutes. >> thanks mr. chairman. nice to have you here. i am sure you are concerned about sbinet and i'm glad you are reassessing the value of that. does that signal a lessening of commitment to use sbinet or any other kind of technology along the border? be no and that is what i was trying to clarify with representative souter. look mac that is a big investment. it is a lot of money. it is present to have cell tower after cell tower across some of
the most hostile aspects of the united states in terms of geography and weather and the like. it has been very difficult to deploy. it has been very difficult to operate. we will finish the first phase which is actually the arizona face but it has caused a lot of frustration and rather than be wasteful or unduly delayed further technology or other types of technology being used at the border we think it deserves and merits a fresh look. >> thank you. you talk about your fifth mission which is ensuring resilience to disasters. we recently had a heavy winter storm in arizona and about a week ago i visited with folks in the navajo nation to talk about first responders and we met in an emergency command center that was set up in the community to help folks through. i wanted to hear from them firsthand what worked and what different and it was very poor at parent that big local people
really pulled them into the disaster and thankfully there were no casualties. but the concerns about what did not meet our in four areas. the first one is communication. communication just did not work. it did not work between the national guard, fema, the local first responders. it just fell apart in numerous ways and maybe i can get you more detail on that. the second thing was that it is evident that there needs to be more training and the rural areas regarding emergency relief efforts. there was also a lack of collaboration between the various units so in other words it look like he met didn't know what the national guard was doing and they didn't know what the local communities were doing, a real breakdown in collaboration. i will just give you one example. they were taking food out eventually of national guard
trucks to communities that they couldn't take hay for the livestock so there was some kind of regulation where they couldn't have hay and food on the same truck. so that is just one example. the last thing that was real interesting is they brought, they think there needs to be training regarding cultural sensitivity with the federal agencies who might be there responding. there seemed to be a seem to be a whole lack of understanding of the local culture. so, is there any funding in this budget that you think would be directed to address some of those needs? >> well, first of all representative, first of all i will take those suggestions back to the director of fema and have him look at this situation directly. with respect to coordination with the national guard, that should be occurring and there should be interoperability. i have some familiarity with those individuals so i don't
know what broke down but there have been joint exercises and indeed responding to forest fires in arizona, that has happened almost without a hitch in various places so i think we need to troubleshoot this in particular and say what happened here that doesn't normally happen during forest fire season where a they man the national guard work together hand-in-hand and have interoperability and have things. for example i know the national guard has accessibility to patch trucks that could be used to patch different types of radio systems with one another so we will have to troubleshoot this one in particular. >> i would happily-- be happy to get you more detailed information and i yield back my time. >> thank you very much. the chair recognizes the gentleman from alabama, mr. rogers for five minutes. >> thank you for being here madam secretary. i hope that since the christmas
day bombing attempt that you have explained to the attorney general that you are in a critical national security role and before he decides to go off half-cocked that he should consult with you and your cohorts before make in decisions. i hope you have explained that to him and the president. president. secondly, right after that attempted attack, one of the co-chairs of the 9/11 commission, lee hamilton, came out and reminded us that it is time for the congress and the administration to use the political will to follow through on the last major recommendation which was consolidating jurisdiction for homeland security in this community. it is going to be a tough political lives but i hope you'll urge the speaker and the majority leader in the senate that it is time to do it. you all have come up here to 86 different committees and subcommittees is defensible and as far as church in the schools.
but, to that end, i would like to offer for the record without objection mr. chairman chairman the two letters we have sent to the secretary and the leader, speaker pelosi urging that consolidation. >> without objection. >> thank you. want to talk to you about the budget. all in all i am pretty-- and want to thank you-- thank you for me tenants critically needed and the noble hospital training facility where we have trained health care to respond after a major disaster. but one thing that i am concerned about was the elimination of what appears to be the elimination of the chief officer. dr. mccann who has been sent in north carolina i understand that position is not going to be filled and they will consolidate debt with the director of food, veterinarian, veterinarians, animal defense. it is a very critical role. we need to make sure we are protecting our food safety and
preparing for-- i talked yesterday about the garza who assures me that position is going to continue to be fleshed out under that new director. i am going to introduce a bill which got broad bipartisan support in the committee to ensure that that position that continues to exist, he can call it director of food, veterinarians animals at the wants to achieve interim officer but we want to make sure somebody has those responsibilities going forward to make sure we are protected against those threats. and then, the thing i want to talk to you about most though is i want to applaud you. i have been for years advocating higher use of canine assets were people screaming. your predecessors have given it lipservice then you put some real money in there and you are to be commended for putting it into the budget to expand the facility. what i would urge you to do, i had your tsa official briefed me
earlier about what we are going to be able to accomplish with this program, and i am not going to go into detail here but i want the members to get a briefing like i did later about the coverage we are going to have. i request the u.s. that while you were doing this, this is going to give us 200 and 75 additional teams out there, we need to plus that of. i would urge you, instead of making a seven million make it 100 lan and have a second location so we can get 600 dogs a year, teams a year out into the field. that would get us in five or six years to where we have more complete coverage of the 430 airports we have to be concerned about that the level we we are at now it would be 10 or 12 years and that is not acceptable so i would urge it to consider 360 million for new equipment, scanning equipment, poll 30 off of that and into that canine
item and i think that would be a good robust level for us to be able to get to copperheads of coverage of these airports in a reasonable amount of time and i will be happy to talk more with you and your folks about that. there is no way at lakeland. we have to have a second facility that is doing that. but again you are to be applauded. you put some muscle behind what you said you were going to do after the christmas day bombing and paper sheet that. lastly, the i.c.e. budget, i am concerned i didn't see more money in there for ice i.c.e. agents. we have a shortage of i.c.e. agents and there are only 52 positions. can you tell me why? >> i think the budget adequately meets i.c.e.'s enforcement responsibilities, as suggested earlier. one of the things we are increasing in the budget is secure communities which is a force multiplier. we have secure communities.
we identify aliens that can do more removals more effectively than ever before, so i think while the number of agents is only up 52, if you look at that in conjunction with a secure communities you see how we are using that as a forcible plan. >> going back to the canines, do you think it is reasonable to book to get a second location? >> representative as my staff will tell you i am a big believer in dogs and what dogs can do. so, it is a resource split in allocation issue but my mind is very open and dogs used properly with a properly trained handler can really help improve safety. >> the thing i have told the members, we are talking about a new technology where the dog does not skip a person.
you just walk by and that would be very helpful in our airports where people before they go through technical screening can walk by these canines and the christmas day bomber would not have gotten on the plane if we have them. >> the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from new jersey, ms. pascrell. >> where do we start here? first of all, i would like to associate myself with the comments of the ranking member concerning the categorical assistance to cities and regional areas, areas around those areas expanded if you remember five years ago. i think that is hopefully not just an oversight here. i think it is critical to defending america. secondly, you testified last year after you raised your hand,
that you are going to take a specific look at the bureaucracy that you heard are our good friend from alabama talk about. i asked you questions then. you assure the committee that you were going to address the issue of bureaucracy because when you have bureaucracy, you have less accountability. you saw that in a december 25 episode, where who pushed jake was the main question. we realize that's dhs is the consumer of intelligence, and is not the vehicle. the fact of the matter is though that we don't know who to hold accountable because this bureaucracy is growing and becoming worse.
tell me one instance that you recommend to us in one year, where you wanted us to give assistance to you and we thank you for your service to this country and want to be helpful. i can't recall at that that doesn't mean it hasn't happened. get give me one instance. give me one instance where you recommended to this committee that we assist you in breaking through the bureaucracy of the department that you had, question mark. >> i don't know exactly what your question is. >> you don't know-- i can't be more direct than that madam secretary. we want to be helpful. we are not asking the questions and we are not making comments here because we want to give you more work. we want to give you less work. you just testified this morning before the appropriations committee. if you want to continue to go
crazy, continue. if you want to continue to going 86 committee meetings, continue. we asked you. hewitt nor does because i haven't seen any recommendations on your part. tell me where i'm wrong and i will apologize. >> i think you are wrong. in a number of ways. but. >> where am i wrong madam secretary? >> let me finish my answer. i believe that the department had this committee me to have more, not less communication. we are endeavoring to do that both of the democratic side and on the republican side. we have endeavored to provide you every bit of information that you have asked for. we have asked the congress for the ability to get summit ministered of resources which are called bureaucracy, but are in essence the ability to have the infrastructure necessary to
run what is now the third-largest department of the government. i would love to talk about that with you. >> we have had a year. i am ionizing correct. the department is incorrect. this committee stands to be helpful to you and it has not been given an opportunity. the second issue. i appreciate the difficulty of your job. anybody who sits in that position has to create a budget that meets all the needs of the nation. this nation's greatest nation in the world during this economic crisis. while at the same time you are working our way out of this deficit. we understand that. we deal with this every day in every department. i am satisfied with the budget, especially the necessary increase in funding to boost aviation security. you went into that i believe in your testimony. however, i am greatly dismayed
and indeed disturbed that for the second year in a row, visit administration has decided to cut critical fire grants program that provides equipment and training for our firefighters. this year they have decided to cut the safer program as well that helps to maintain staff in our nation's firehouses. overall these two programs had have been cut by $200 billion, which is 25% less than me we passed in fiscal year 2010. at a time when we are still fighting her way out of a deep recession, those can afford to do it on their own. municipalities are being forced to slash budgets every day. this is exactly the wrong time to cut the programs. they are necessary. they were necessary before 9/11. before 9/11 was when we started the program and they are
necessary today. in fact there were three to $4 billion of applications in those programs every year. secondly i was extremely surprised to see that the budget calls for four stand-alone grant programs that would be folded into the large state homeland security grant program. legg, i know the game. i was the mayor of the city wants. at this includes the interoperable emergency communications. i guess there is no word that has been used more in this committee since 2001 in then the word interoperable. but they are gone. to create the 109th congress, this looks like a way to do it a backdoor cut of these programs. they would be no way to compare it if you fold that into the larger program. i think that this is a wrong way
to go. i understand it is a great way to hide what you really want to do. i assume that is not what you want to do. what in god's name do you want to do? if i may ask that mr. chairman? >> well, listening to mayors and governors, one of the things they asked of me last year was to reduce the amount of grant applications and grant reports that they had to do. they wanted more flexibility. they wanted the ability to use grant funding for things like sustaining and maintaining equipment as compared to having to buy new equipment all the time in order to achieve grant funding. the proposal this year was designed to meet those requests. >> let me tell you something. that is not acceptable. if the mayors of this country feel that the program of fire after the safer after the best run your credit pro-grams of the federal government because there isn't any bureaucracy.
i have to respond to answers that don't really go to the question. we are in the same place we were a year ago. >> i think you have made your.mr. pascrell. the gentleman from texas, mr. macola. >> thank you, and madam secretary welcome. last week a small aircraft slammed into a federal building in my district. reminding us that we are still vulnerable. and the devastation from it was a very small plane. it was really highly destructive. i walked away thinking, how could such a small plane bring down almost an entire federal building? it is a threat and i want to also commend the first responders because the loss of life could have been much more severe than it actually was. my thoughts and prayers lots of the family of the one federal employee who was injured and
killed. i would just recommend also, you mentioned general aviation. and i would recommend you continue to work closely with them as you look at rulemaking. i think as i have met with them after this tragedy, think there are some very good ideas where we can work with industry, not against industry, and making this situation and helping the american people be safer. another incident ironically just north of my district not too long ago, fort hood. i went to the memorial service and talk to the commander, general cohen. we found out since than that the joint terrorism task force had information about this individual, that he had been contacting an al qaeda operative in yemen. at dod representative on the jt tfn the information was not shared with the base. i asked the general, would you
like to have have that information at your base. he was in contact with the top military leader and yet they did not know about it. i find that to be really inexcusable and his question to me was how many more hasan haas are out there? it is a dod issue or two it her coat is a jj key issue but when you talk about bases in the main i it is a homeland security issue as well and i know you are smart enough to wreck and i set co-i do have a few budget questions but i want to ask you, we know al qaeda has targeted military installations and fort dix is another example. what are you doing to ensure the information processes improves the weekend event in this case 14 individuals from being killed in the future? >> indeed. without going into the fort hood situation specifically one of the things we have really been working on this past year is the
mound of sharing of intelligence with state and local law enforcement about threats and threat seems to-- threat streams. our first responders, particularly our 800,000 or so police officers are in force multiplier beyond whatever presence we have. we have greatly bolstered the fusion centers and i think you will see a lot of activity in that regard over this next year, really strengthening the standards they are and what qualifies as a fusion center, what that is but that is designed to do. having in one place not only trained officers but databases and analysts are co-it is not just sharing data that is important. it is the analysis that is important. >> i agree and it is also acting on permission. there was information and fort hood and like stingrays.
there were doubts not only being connected but docs not being acted on that i think had they been acted upon we could've avoided could have avoided the fort hood tragedy and the christmas bomber. i know this is a budget hearing so i want to ask you a couple of questions. is mr. cuellar and gheni meant he was working with mexico. that is so important with the violent in juarez as you mentioned one of the violent cities in the world than mexico has suffered more killings in iraq and afghanistan wars combined. free programs that i saw, the operation stone garden, you were in arizona. it has been a very successful program and yet is being cut from 50 to 60 million and they 287 g. program which has also been successful has maintain the current level and finally the be iced attention removal office,
when i talk to i.c.e. officials in the houston area, they tell me they don't have the resources they need to carry out their mission. and that has come from your people on the ground. so if you could explain to me those three budgetary items because they think they would go a long ways in helping us better secure this border. >> well, number 1 was-- stone garden. what happened last year there was extra money we redeployed to stone garden. what we have done however is basically steer all of that money to the southwest border whereas previously southwest border whereas previously it could be shared in part of it was used on the northern border. you might imagine yesterday i heard from some border representatives that were not happy about that decision that my decision was that is where the money is best used right now.
with respect to 287 g. the strategy we are using is we are considering signing 287 g. mac. they are more active in terms of yield of criminal aliens that have entered the united states so we think that is a better strategy. in terms of detention and removal beds in the houston area, that is something we have will get back to you specifically on. they had request is based on our national estimate about what we need and maybe there needs to be some adjustment. >> finally as you mentioned the attorney general that the federal government pay its bills when it comes to the burden on the state locals and in my home state of texas we have a tremendous burden. thank you very much. >> the chernow recognizes the gentleman from new mexico. i was trying to give him some more time. >> i appreciate that mr. chairman and i hope my
friend from new jersey does not get mad. madam secretary thank you for being here as well and they want to tell you how much i appreciate the fact that dhs and doe are working closely with one another now. after the failed attempt on christmas day we did hear the directive from the president asking for dhs and doe specifically to collaborate, to try to solve some of these big problems and i want to thank you board not wasting any time doing that. a few things i want to bring up in some of the testimony we have heard from dr. rob right in our science and tech committee who is from lawrence, livermore highlighted the importance of the president's directive but went on to say this, that explosives have presented the most prevalent threat to transportation security through critical facilities and individuals. credited show closes continue to be the weapon of choice for terrorists worldwide. the threat is evolving and increase taxes worldwide to the internet is provided as
information and manufactured home explosives using bradley available chemicals. explosives are difficult to detect in some cases. only trace evidence are available for sampling in bulk quantities of explosive manner must be detected in potentially confusing but benign materials. tsa officers only a short time to detect its closest in assess the situation if up if they are to maintain the flow of people and goods. continued research and development is fundamental to understanding the threat in creating the tools that will give our nation the capabilities to decrease our vulnerability. we now know that there is progress being made in technologies that will strengthen our capabilities and give her tsa agents the tools they need to prevent these materials for moving forward. the one concern i have met them secretary is the commitment to the investment, substantial investment near $700 billion if
i have my numbers correct, to numbers really round metals and i wanted to hear from you how we are going to go forward so we are able to bring these technologies forward. also deploy and get your ideas, if you feel rather than a short-term relationship with the nsa facilities, with homeland homeland security apache turn into a long-term relationship to make sure that we are working closer in that regard and also your thoughts on taking the whole system, systematic approach and trying to understand the threats that we are going to see as opposed to reacting to what we know just happened? >> with me address the last first. we need to react to things that happened. it would be foolish not to and adjust in light of what we have party scene but at the same time we need to be thinking ahead so there is a reaction in the production that need to be
happening simultaneously. one of the ways this will occur is with the use of science and technology. that is why the president has directed that the really tighten up the relationship with our national apps so that their research is really designed or at least partly designed to help us operationally to think through what the next iteration of threat material used etc. so i hope that this relationship, which was really catalyzed by the december 25 attempt becomes part and parcel of our national homeland security framework and that we use that brain capacity we have the most national labs to create a greater effect for homeland security purposes. >> mr. chairman, this is just one hearing that i hope we can work on together with yourself, with ranking member of all members of the committee because
when we look specifically at these relationships and what some of the brightest scientists and ethicists have to offer not only with the capabilities and commercialization and what that means to creating jobs but also looking at problems that is this where we have threats like this every day. i wanted to highlight that mr. chairman as we begin to look at this in a different way and think outside the box, where we can bring together the brightest minds that we have that we have made investments in and modeling capabilities and assimilation capabilities that lead to technologies that will save people's lives is somewhere i hope we turn to and with that mr. chairman i yield back my time. >> thank you very much. the junta money from florida, misty bilirakis for five minutes. >> madam secretary sent a letter to you on january 21 regarding the visa security program. when can i expect a response?
>> hopefully very soon. we are trying to, and by by and large move to the point where we can respond to every congressional-- in the market. >> how many visa issues either overseas currently? >> for the state department? >> s., the state department. >> i don't know the overall amount. >> how many of these locations, can you tell me how many locations have decent security units currently? >> i am going to ask. a small percentage. >> okay. i think it is about 14 from my estimations. how many have they been identified as high risk locations? >> we just had it to. i know in the past week, a number. >> okay.
my understanding is that there are 40 high-risk locations in the state department has 220 locations and we have units in 14 locations, so the next question is, on the current pace how long will it take to establish visa security units in locations that department has identified as high-risk? if you can't answer that question i would like to get a response as soon as possible. >> that is reasonable. >> do you believe, we want to make sure we beef up this program, and an example of this was the christmas bomber. i think that could've been prevented so i understand that the budget recommendation is flack for this year and that is unacceptable to me so if you could respond to me as quick as possible i would really appreciate it. >> yasser representative. part of that, this is not just the department of homeland security authorization.
this is really the department of state where the department of homeland security will be allowed into an embassy facility to work there, so that is something we are having to work at the interagency level. >> what i am concerned about is there may be some resistance from the department of state in establishing these units and if so i would like to know which locations, where they resistance lies. thank you mr. chairman. i appreciate it. >> thank you very much. the chair now recognizes the gentlelady from california, ms. harman. >> madam secretary i apologize to you but the intelligence authorization bill was on the house floor this afternoon and that is why i was absent for much of this conversation. i did however hear your testimony and as you said about the five priorities for your agency, the first one was counterterrorism and i want to
applaud that and recognize and i think agree with you that the homeland security department exist to protect the homeland and there is a large terror threat. i have a question about that and one other that i want to put you at the same time and preserve my time limits. on the subject of terrorism, i think probably, besides the technological corrections we have party made since the christmas bomber problem, the other problem was the absence of sustained readership, focusing specifically on what could happen, both to aircraft and other things that certainly sustained readership of the top so one question i have is, what are you personally doing, given your busy, hugely busy life and professional obligations, to sustain your readership on the
terror threat? my second question is to pick up on some of the questions that some of the issues mr. bilirakis was focusing on, the system code is my understanding that since the '90s, there has been a requirement for a capable exit visa system. it is good to know i do have a secure could have a secure visa entry program, and we are doing better at that i believe, but we still have not implemented our visa exit program up to any reasonable, by my rights, standards. i was a member of the congressional commission on terrorism that existed between 1999 and 2000. we predicted a major terror attack on the united states, but one of the gaps we found in u.s. security was a capable exit visa system. if people can come here legally and then get lost here, that is
an enormous vulnerability so my two questions are, what sustained readership are you personally giving to the huge terrorist threat against us and two, what can you do to expedite and fully develop the exit visa system? >> thank you congresswoman. i think two things. one is that you are right, sustained readership is important and it takes a number of forms. one as they can sure we have a clear vision for the department. that is reflected in the qa chess are which we went from zero to 60 on this year. the second is to make sure we have a better integration of our intel and analysis within the department and other intelligence assets around the beltway and we are doing a better job of connecting our intel and analysis with information threat stream so it
can be used by state and local law enforcement so very important from the country. i think we have made great progress in that regard this year. we are going to be continuing to push that issue. the third is really focusing on a sustained effort and i think creatively quite frankly in areas like aviation, where we have instituted an international aviation and initiative, where we have entered into mo a cost with national labs that didn't exist before so those are the kinds of things we are working on and they all blend together under the guise of guarding against terrorism and ensuring the security of the. [chanting] with respect to exit visas. we do have, as someone noted before, we have not requested new. we have 50 million we are going to pull forward this year for u.s. exit. that that that will be for the air environment. the big problem and one that i have asked the scientist and
other, others to look at is how do we handle the fact that the united states has such a huge land force of entry and so many lanes? that is under the current iteration of technologies, a huge budget number. it was not one i was prepared to move forward to the committee this year. >> i thank you. and 12 seconds, i urge you personally to keep asking about what her department is doing on a daily basis or a frequent basis. to focus on the terror threats so that it is clear from atop our tent that is and on the u.s. exit program, i think we are going to have to step up and write the checks, because i think it is unacceptable to have the ability for people to come here and then get lost in our country and possibly cause harm
against us. thank you mr. chair. >> thank you very much. the gentleman from georgia, mr. brown for five minutes. >> i'm pleased to see you in attendance today. i hope you will agree with me that it is critical for the secretary of annie and latency to be present an important oversight hearings. i hope that we can be assured that in the future you will be personally present in all these extremely important oversight hearings and i hope you will assure us of that. >> representative, i think improving communication and being available to the committee is an important part of my responsibilities. >> i said we hope so and i trust that he will be. i was also extremely pleased to see that just recently you admitted that the fort hood massacre was a terrorist attack. i think that admission is long overdue and i am pleased to see
you finally go ahead and make that admission. madam secretary i have serious concerns regarding how the department plans to use its resources. i would like clarification on some issues i feel the american people deserve to hear from you. with the recent actions of the christmas day bombing and intelligence opinions that al qaeda will most likely attempt to attack homeland within that six months, is more apparent now than ever that our enemies will stop at nothing to attack us. we must work even harder to stop them and as i have said before here in this committee the marine corps teaches that you must know your enemy to defeat them. many brave americans work hard to pinpoint and identify those who wish us harm. it is foolish for this or other federal agencies tasked with protecting our homeland and our country to ignore the hard-working ways of our resources.
but i would like to see from this department greater effectiveness at collecting and sharing vital information on those who are most likely to attack us. whether the information comes from our intelligence agencies, our global partners to serve as our first line of defense. closing these gaps in humans intelligence networks is absolutely essential. one way for us to focus our attention on those people and those countries that we know will try to attack us, time wasted screening a grandmother in her mid-80s or a 10 year old on vacation with his family could better be used in screening individuals who are coming from somewhere were more likely to produce known enemies to our country who want to harm us and destroy this nation and everything we are founded upon. you have stated in your
testimony that u.n. this administration are determined to find and fix their security vulnerabilities and i really trust that is so and i look forward to you going onto doing so. madam secretary, do you believe what i've suggested could prove more effective? >> in what respect? been focusing on countries and groups of individuals were most likely to be those individuals who want to do us harm? be doing things on a risk-based or intel-based way obviously is something that we endeavor to do across the federal government. when you are talking about the travel environment, i think it is important to add to that a certain amount of unpredictable randomness which disables the terrorists from being able to predict with certainty whether they will be subject to a secondary screening or the like so it is intel-based but it is
the greater utilization of al algal rhythms of randomness and i can use that to add on to the >> i certainly agree with that. there is no such thing as 100% safety, 100% certainty but i think a particular limited resources it is important to focus on those nations and those people groups who we know want to do us harm. there may be other people groups and maybe even homegrown terrorists that we have got to focus on but we do know without question that there are those and i encourage you, i hope that you will give lies your limited resources because we in the federal government are out of money. we don't have money. and we are stealing our grandchildren's future by creating huge amounts of debt,
but homeland security is one of the, and national security is the primary focus of the constitution for the federal government and so focusing upon those individuals and those countries and groups of people that we know are the greatest preponderance of individuals who want to do us harm come from those areas. i hope that you will really focus upon them with random screening and other things and understand the problems that you face but i just encourage you to consider that. the other additional methods that could be deployed in defense of our homeland that will close those gaps in our abilities. >> let me ask you to say that again, please? >> are there other additional methods, besides focusing on those things that we have artie
talked about that could be deployed that will close those gaps invulnerability's? >> you have got to have a random aspect to all of this. in other words we are not doing the same thing at every airport across the country. is e. why? because we don't want there to be predictability. i think there is a huge science and technology that we should pursue anti-artie mentioned with representative lou hammond working with a particular national labs and i think we can do more. thirdly, making sure that across the local environment we have increased information collection and sharing to the maximum extent that we can, working with our allies and others. i think it really helps provide us with the greatest. >> thank you madam secretary and i appreciate your comments.
mr. chairman, thank you. >> adjustment from alabama. >> you expect to have a second round of questions and the time will be permitted? >> we will probably finish just about the time for both. we thought we could do it but it looks like, because i have been generous with my time and questions we might not be able to do it. the gentlelady from new york. >> thank you very much mr. chair and madam secretary it is great to have you here and really provide us with some insights into this year's budget. i just wanted to sort of add my voice to that of ranking member came with regard to the securing the city's grant, and i understand the dilemma of the funding, which we tend to always in some form or fashion, up
with, whether whether just or appropriations. but when you talk about looking at some of the work the web site done there are also other ways of looking how we can address the threats of radiological and biological chemicals and nuclear weapons. i hope that we will get some findings from the securing the cities model that hopefully would be something that can be helpful to for the rest of the nation. we are all very used to the explosive, unfortunately being used to the explosive event that we have witnessed in 93 in new york and again in 2000, but there are other very, just as meaningful threats to us that we are not as conscience of, and it is a thing i think tools that we developed along the way in anticipation of someone utilizing one of these types of weaponry that will bode well for
the department and for our nation, so i hope you will get that your give that your highest consideration. i just wanted to let you know how pleased i am that the budget at colleges the ongoing real possibility of a cyberattack or code this budget request $379 million for a national cybersecurity division and $10 million for the national cybersecurity central. i know you'd touched on this in your testimony but can you elaborate a little bit more out this funding will be used to buttress the cybersecurity capabilities? cybersecurity capabilities? >> it is a number of ways and perhaps one of the things to suggest to this committee is a classified briefing on all of the efforts on cyberand a certain.of time, but it is the climate of prevention and detention technology. it is working to secure the.gov domain.
it is working with the private sector on the.organ.com domains. we have opened up this year a consolidated cyberfacility in virginia which has allowed us to do some things we could not before. but, i will share with you congresswoman one of our greatest challenges come at this committee were to ask me what are the greatest challenges i would say one of them is getting enough cyberexperts into federal service to really work on the civilian side of cybersecurity and we have to have retiring authority but i think as we can all appreciate, though we have covered takes too long and for those young scientist, who really know the cyberworld, they get impatient, and so that is something we are really going to have to work together on. >> i look forward to that madam
secretary but i absolutely-- you are absolutely correct. i think we have to come up to speed, those of us who are of a certain age, about the realities in the technology around us and the young people who are very agile with it and their attention spans. i think that it will bode us will if we can demonstrate how important it is to get young people with that expertise and talent and maybe not such young people but people who are savvy enough and on board with us before the private sector status them up. another area that i'm concerned about and i wanted to discuss with you is the area of asp. we have pursued at the laudable goal of improving detection performance, but have been concerned with the performance of the system as well as some of the testing over the years.
can you give me a sense of the analysis that you and dod due to determine the asp and if you can't finish right now if he could get us something in writing? bs and indeed we took some action within the last week, so we will get back to you on that. be thank you very much mr. chairman and i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you very much. the chernow wreck nice as the gentlelady from michigan. >> secretary we are delighted to have the here today and for shader testimony. one of the issues that is really the rentable efficacy for me is northern border security. as you know you and i have had some conversations about that. you up and very gracious with your time as has your deputy. she has been great as well. but i just say that because coming from michigan, northern
border, so important to my region and i am fully appreciative of what is going on in the southern border and resources necessary to address the border etc. etc. but i have to go and circle around your adventist odegard -- nextel and garden and make my pitch for that. my immediate region since everyone is being parochial talking about their reach and we have ambassador bridge which is the busiest commercial artery in the wintertime of. we have the blue water bridge which is the second busiest commercial artery on the northern tier and the only one you can transit hazardous material. we have the real-time-- tom all and immediately cross the st. clair river we have the largest concentration of petrochemical plants i think in the hemisphere may be next to new jersey but it is enormous along with the great great lakes and the number of unique dynamics is what i am saying or co-one of my counties was able
to get a stonegarden grant several years ago and with experience doing garden southern border got 50% in 08 and 09 it is 100% and according to the budget here they are not even eligible, the northern border cannot even apply for these and i'm a percy bit as i say, we have to ship the norse-- resources where we think are necessary but to go to zero seems rather extreme to me and we need some resources as well. what do you think? be i appreciate that and i have heard that from others. i will say that stonegarden should not be looked at in isolation and should be made available in the northern region and the bulk of that era money a pro-peter went to the northern border ports and technology at those ports and improvements at those ports which goes to some of the structures that you alluded to, so in a tough budget
year with some decisions to be made that is where we were but i assume that is something that will continue to be worked on throughout the process. >> i appreciate that and i hope you to revisit that. the one thing that stonegarden grant, and i appreciate that grants but stonegarden really has been a force multiplier for the locals, which has really been such a fantastic since it was the coast guard or the cbp or what have you so that is my pitch on the stone gardens. in regard to the fbi get in there has been a lot of talk about this today. i'm not sure what is happened with the sbinet but on the northern border sometimes we may do things, i won't say better but different, we have the sbinet in your district 11 towers being constructed. we ask ask that had an i.c.e. jam in my area and i took an air boat out to see the you last there were being constructed on
sunday afternoon and our experience with sbinet is we are looking forward to this and we haven't had much problems and i think it is going to be completely turned over to the cbp in march so we are looking forward to a good experience and just my pitch on that. since i have a limited amount of time there has been talk about the christmas day bomber. as a representative from michigan where this airplane was coming down you might imagine it has been on the front page of our newspapers. everybody is totally engaged in a debate about whether or not the christmas day bomber should have gotten court-appointed taxpayer-funded attorneys, not one but three in this case and i do know there is money put in here for the k. is some trial in new york or wherever it is going to go. i don't think there is anyone that has been budgeted for the christmas day bomber who is been a range of the federal building in downtown detroit and i guess i'm just looking for a little guidance on that.